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25Jun


Many people forget the first impression comes from the garden. Watch the video to get ideas and tips to help sell your home this summer, as well as make your garden a more enjoyable place to be. 




1. Decluttering the garden can add value. Always start with tidying and give your lawn a fresh mow and tidy up any weather damage before a viewing. 


2. Add some seasonal colour, like plant pots filled with flowers. This will add perceived value.


3. Start in the front garden, because this is where your potential buyer will start. The first impression counts. 


4. Add a key selling point, like a summer house, play park or a jacuzzi if you want to turn your garden into a fantastic reason to buy the house. This requires major investment, but it could secure your sale. 


5. If you’re looking to spend less, don’t underestimate the impact of a coat of paint on fences and sheds. 


6. Style your garden with furniture. You wouldn’t show a room to a potential buyer without any furniture in it, so why show a garden without a table and chairs on the decking or patio?


7. If your home is overlooked, it’s a good idea to give the idea of privacy to the garden. If it isn’t too expensive, add hedges or trees in key spots. 


Are you looking for a new home with a beautiful garden? Contact us today on 01364 652652 


05May



So you’ve completed on your new home and can’t wait to move. You’ve even started thinking about how to decorate. There’s one thing you might have forgotten, though: you’ve got to move out of your home first. Between packing your things and preparing for your first night in a new home, moving house can seem overwhelming. However, moving from one property to another doesn’t have to be stressful. Read our tips to remove the stress from your moving experience. 


1. Stay organised 


As with any daunting task, staying organised is key. Pack by room and decide when and how you will organise your things. Once you’ve assigned items to labelled boxes, consider the moving van. How will the boxes go inside? Will you need to take multiple trips? Once you’ve worked these things out, you’ll have a plan for your moving day which should give you peace of mind. 


2. Pack early


There’s nothing worse than having a moving van booked and realising that you’ll need to pack all night to be ready. Start packing as soon as you can. Choose non-essential items first (decorations, etc.), and pack your essentials like furniture and cutlery the week of the move. 


3. Take your time


When you’re moving house, be sure to allot more time than you actually need. Feeling rushed will make your stress levels skyrocket, so being slow and methodical is the best way to combat moving worry. Extra time allows you to be more careful when you’re packing and unpacking, and it also takes into account the inevitable moving day setbacks. 


4. Be flexible


There are sure to be bumps in the road when you’re moving house, so remind yourself to stay flexible. Having a plan is a great way to stay organised, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it when circumstances require. 


5. Have a backup plan


When you’re planning your move, take a small amount of time to think about the things that could go wrong and write them down. Once you’ve got your list, think of ways that you could overcome these problems. A backup plan will help take stress out of your move, because you’ve already thought of potential solutions. 


6. Enlist help


Moving house is a huge task, and it becomes even bigger when you have to do it all yourself. Ask for help from your friends and family (most of them will be willing to lend a hand for a few slices of pizza) to take the pressure off. You’ll be finished much faster, and the more people that are involved, the easier moving to your new home will be. 


7. Say goodbye


You’ve lived in your old property for some time, so give yourself a moment to think about all the good memories you associate with the space. If you’re in the mood to entertain (and you haven’t packed all the plates and glasses), have a party and invite your friends to say goodbye to your old home in style. 


8. Take care of yourself


Purchasing a new property and moving into it can be extremely draining, so be careful to take care of yourself throughout the process. A healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help take the edge off your moving stress. Taking care of yourself also means that you deserve a treat every now and then, so consider a takeaway on your first night in the new home to reward yourself for all your hard work!


Are you looking for your dream home? For more help call us todaye - 01364 652652.




25Apr

House Buying Jargon Explained


When it comes to buying a house, there can be a lot to get your head around; lengthy contracts, difficult to read paperwork, not to mention the confusing language – what does it all mean?

Here is a list of common housing terms that will help you beat the jargon.

Buyer: that’s you!

Vendor: this is another term for the seller.

Freehold: a type of occupancy which means you own the building and the land it sits on.

Leasehold: this is where you own the property but not the land it is built on – for example, you may own a flat, but not the building it sits in. Our guide to buying a leasehold property tells you everything you need to know before you sign on the dotted line.

Bridging loan: a temporary short-term loan which enables a buyer to purchase a property before selling their existing property.

Equity: equity, or capital, represents the amount of money a homeowner has put into a property. This value is built up over time as the owner pays off the mortgage and the market value of the property appreciates.

Building survey: a report into the physical state of the property, this is also sometimes referred to as a full structural survey.

Covenant: a covenant is a provision or promise that has been written into a deed which may affect or limit the use of the property or land. There are two different types of covenant, positive and restrictive. A positive covenant is an obligation which requires some form of action (such as maintain a fence or wall), whereas a restrictive covenant limits or prevents the use of land in a specified way.

Easement: an easement is the right of one landowner to make use of another nearby piece of land for the benefit of his own land, for example, a private right of way.

Chain: a chain is formed when several property sales and purchases are inter-dependent. A chain can be complicated but a good estate agent will be able to help keep it moving.

EPC: an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows the efficiency of a property and gives an indication of how much the energy bills will cost. It is displayed as two graphs – the energy efficiency, and the environmental impact of the property. Each is graded from A (the best) to G (the worst).

Under offer: if a property is under offer it means that the seller has accepted an offer from the buyer but the contracts have not yet been exchanged.

Exchange of contracts: the point where both parties are committed to the transaction; both the buyer and seller can walk away at any point before the contracts have been exchanged.

Completion date: when the transaction is complete and ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer. Normally, the vendor’s solicitor will ask the estate agent to release the keys to the buyer at this time.

Snagging: snagging is where the developer of new build properties touches up paintwork, adjusts appliances and fixes any other faults within the property. A snagging survey is usually completed prior to the buyer moving in, in order to spot minor cosmetic issues and check the quality of workmanship.

Stamp Duty: a lump-sum tax that anyone buying a property or land over a certain price in England, Northern Ireland and Wales must pay. The current threshold for residential properties is £125,000 and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties, however the rate you pay will vary depending on the overall purchase price. Read our Stamp Duty guide for more information.

Land Transaction Tax: the tax that will replace Stamp Duty in Wales from April 2018. The proposed tax rates and bands were announced in October 2017.

Land & Building Transaction Tax: the tax you pay when purchasing land or property in Scotland. The current threshold is £145,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties, however the rate payable is subject to the total purchase cost. Read our Stamp Duty guide for more information.

Base rate: the interest rate which is set by the Bank of England for lending to other banks. It is generally used as a benchmark for the interest rates banks charge when lending money to customers.

Fixed rate mortgage: with a fixed rate mortgage, you pay a set rate of interest on your mortgage for a fixed period, so you know exactly what you'll be paying each month.

Tracker mortgage: this is a mortgage with an interest rate linked to the Bank of England rate, or another base rate. The interest rate will go up and down depending on this rate, irrespective of the mortgage lender.

Variable rate mortgage: with a variable rate mortgage, the interest rate can change at any time. They are partly influenced by the Bank of England base rate but other factors come into play as well. The interest rate you pay on a variable rate mortgage can change even without base rate moving and similarly base rate might come down but your mortgage rate stays the same.


Source: Propertymark


23Apr


The thought of downsizing can be a little overwhelming, especially if you have lived in a property for many years, and so attempting to sort through and, in some cases, throw out, your belongings can seem like an endless task.


That’s why we have put together our top tips to help you downsize smoothly.


Get organised


A well-planned move is usually an easy move, so get organised. Start by making a list of all the necessary tasks you need to undertake, and the timescale in which you need to complete it. Knowing what you have to do, and the time you have to do it will make the whole process a lot easier.


Be practical


When thinking about what to get rid of, be practical. If you’re moving from a four-bedroom house to a one bedroom flat, you probably won’t need the extra beds, mattresses and bedding.


Sort through your loft, garage and kitchen as these are all rooms that tend to accumulate clutter you can live without. Do you have tools you’ve never touched? Or perhaps an unused exercise bike lurking in the corner of the spare room? If something is beyond repair or if you haven’t used it for years, get rid.


Don’t be afraid to be ruthless


Ditching your clutter can be tough so it is important to remain strong when deciding what to keep and what not to. However, don’t feel as though you have to part with beloved possessions. For those items you just can’t make up your mind about, offer them to a family member or put them into storage; you don’t want to part ways with a family heirloom if you’re going to regret it later. If you can’t live without it, keep it.


Establish how much room you have


Being able to see how much space you have will help you to figure out what furniture you should take with you. Measure your bigger items of furniture to work out what you’ve got space for in your new home and then draw up a realistic floorplan so that you can see how your existing furniture will fit into each room.


Whilst the square-footage of your new home may not be too dissimilar from your current property, the layout could be completely different, so make sure to keep that in mind when thinking about larger furnishings.


Cash in on your clutter


Turn your unwanted items into cash. Online sites such as eBay, Shpock, Gumtree or even Facebook, can offer an easy way of selling your old stuff.


Carboot sales are a great way to get rid of items that aren't too valuable, but which are still taking up space. If you want to offload pricier items, research your local auction house and look for a NAVA Propertymark valuer or auctioneer in your area.


Think about additional costs


Whilst downsizing will free up some of your funds (including lower energy bills, reduced maintenance costs and possibly a smaller council tax bill) there are additional costs to moving which can add up. It is important to factor in any estate agency fees, and you will pay stamp duty on any purchase in excess of £125,000. Other expenses include solicitor and conveyancing fees, a survey home buyer's report and removals/packing which can all mount up.


Source: NAEA Propertymark


20Apr


Big or small, the villages in England are always a treat. From St. Ives to Castle Coombe, we’ve all seen their many wonders. But what if you’re looking for an experience that’s off the beaten path? We’ve found some of the most charming villages in the UK that you migh never have heard of and one you will have if you live in Devon ! 


1. Cerne Abbas, Dorset


Cerne Abbas is a Dorset treasure that’s certainly worth a visit. Located along the River Cerne, the village grew up around an abbey and is known for its lovely architecture and the ‘rude giant’ that features in its fields. 


2. Hellidon, Northamptonshire


A quaint village in Northamptonshire, Hellidon is perfect for those searching for a quiet retreat. Try one of the many country walks, or if you fancy something a bit sportier, the pool and spa just outside the village is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.


 


3. Saltaire, West Yorkshire


Saltaire is a town next to the River Aire that developed around a Salt Mill in the nineteenth century. The mill has now been converted into an art space and a shopping arcade. Walking through the town can make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. 


4. Framlingham, Suffolk


This market town is full of history and mystery. First known for its connections to the Howard family of Tudor fame, Framlingham is the birthplace of many other notable Brits such as Ed Sheeran. The ‘Castle on the Hill’ referenced in Sheeran’s hit single is a must-see.  


5. Presteigne, Wales


Presteigne is a town right on the border between England and Wales. It’s surrounded by stunning untouched countryside, which makes it perfect for a rural retreat, but that’s not all Presteigne has to offer. There’s a vibrant high street and cultural centre, and the annual Presteigne Music Festival is an internationally known event that’s not to be missed. 




6. St Mawes, Cornwall


A fishing village situated on the end of the Roseland peninsula, St Mawes is one of the most picturesque villages you’ve never heard of. It’s almost completely surrounded by the sea, which means that the views are spectacular. The community is known for its close ties and welcoming nature, making it a real Cornish gem. 


7. Aysgarth, Yorkshire


Aysgarth is located in part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It’s home to Aysgarth Falls, one of Britain’s loveliest waterfalls, which featured in the film Robin Hood.




8. Higher Bockhampton, Dorset


Higher Bockhampton is tucked deep into the Dorset countryside, surrounded by rolling hills and high hedges. This village is the setting of Thomas Hardy’s first five books and is where Hardy was born. You can even visit Hardy’s cottage, which is now a National Trust property. 


9. Hutton-le-Hole, North Yorkshire


It doesn’t get more English than this North Yorkshire village. There’s a lovely quiet stream, plenty of pubs, and moorland sheep graze throughout the village. It’s the perfect ice cream picnic spot during the summer months. 




10. Lustleigh, Devon


Lustleigh might be the most picturesque village in England. It’s one of Devon’s most well-maintained villages. Thatched cottages surround a 13th century church, bookended by the Primrose Tea Rooms and a village shop. Have a pint at the pub while you watch a cricket match on the local pitch. 


Are you looking for a home in one of these hidden gems? Contact your local Guild Agent Sawdye & Harris today. 


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